"Within the American Music Therapy Association, the New England region is the tiniest region, but it's mighty. We seem to collect the pioneers of the field, the visionaries, people who are the giants in the profession. We have many of those people within Massachusetts, and we have several of those people on faculty. There is a wealth of resources. We also have a wide range of people who've trained at different times, so we've got a historical record of how we've developed and changed the field. We've got diversity in the faculty: some of the leading researchers, some of the leading creators and visionaries, and many different styles. We're all hired because we are experts in what we provide."
"Our program is music centered, focused on helping each student develop professionally as a musician as well as develop as a music therapist. We're also relationship centered and we're client centered. We make the focus of the training understanding how to develop an appropriate clinical relationship with the client. We're talking about the student understanding not only different diagnoses and populations, but understanding the person who's diagnosed with said conditions."
"The training's hard. It's not for everybody. You could be the best musician, you could be the nicest, most caring person, and you might not make a good music therapist. There are qualities that you have to possess. Some of these qualities can be taught. Some of these qualities can be learned over time. Some are what you come with from your life experiences. And then there are things that you learn about yourself that you might have to change. You've got to be empathetic. You need a sense of humor. You need to be insightful. You need to have very strong, creative, flexible musicianship. You've got to have a firm foundation when it comes to melody, rhythm, harmony. It would be really great if you played guitar for a year before you showed up. And you've got to be able to use your voice. Not everybody's born a singer, but there's a difference between singing and clinically using your voice. And self-confidence, a sense of self-worth, is essential."
- B.A., State University of New York
- M.A., New York University
- Certified Nordoff-Robbins music therapist, Nordoff-Robbins Center for Music Therapy
- Publications include "The Supervision of Clinical Improvisation in Aesthetic Music Therapy, a Music-Centered Approach" in Music Therapy Supervision, edited by Michele Forinash, 2001
- Teaches clinical improvisation
- Provided workshops nationally on clinical guitar work, focusing especially on rhythmic and harmonic stability and creativity and how that impacts the clinical relationship
- Noted for clinical songwriting abilities
- Currently developing a “clinical music” curriculum
- Has twice received the New England Region of the American Music Therapy Association Presidential Award for Excellence in Service and Development of Music Therapy, 2000 and 2006
- Serves the New England Region of the American Music Therapy Association as a member of the executive board and newsletter editor
- Guitarist and arranger for family band CONNECT 3, which provides music education, expression, and experience for family audiences, particularly serving families who have experienced special needs or life threatening illness
- Director of music therapy for the Community Music Center of Boston for 12 years, a music therapy program that serves the Greater Boston Area and is a long-standing partner of Berklee